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Ottawa Lumière Festival’s Evening of Light Celebration Brings Stories to Life in New Edinburgh Park on August 18th

3:15 pm in Festival News, News Release

The Lumière Festival’s artistic director, Scott Florence, has chosen the theme of Stories for this year’s Evening of Light Celebration, taking place in New Edinburgh Park, Saturday, August 18th, commencing at 5pm.

Live performances, alongside enchanting visual arts, will animate New Edinburgh Park all the while illuminated via candlelit lanterns alone. A family-friendly event, the Lumière Festival offers entertainment suitable for all ages. Among local artists returning this year are the Fire Weavers, A Company of Fools (performing Henry V), Gillian Kirkland, and Propeller Dance. Some of the new artists in this year’s lineup are the thrilling Gitana Georgia & Istvan Betyar (of The Blue Mushroom Sirkus Psyshow) and the hilarious Giant Seagulls (of Surreal McCoy Street Theatre Company).

The Ottawa Lumière Festival Evening of Light Celebration will take place August 18th beginning at 5pm. Volunteers are welcomed with open arms and are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. For more information and to volunteer please visit

Media contact:
Stephanie Vicente
Ottawa Lumière Festival
[email protected]

South Asian Festival tempts taste buds on CTV

1:38 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

Meenakshi Sharma of the South Asian Festival dropped by CTV Morning Live to discuss Ottawa\’s largest South Asian event in Ottawa on August 10th and 11th.

HOTBOX, SAW Video\’s Annual Summer Social

2:58 pm in Industry News

SAW Video is pleased to announce the return of our wildly popular, multi-disciplinary summer social and fundraiser, HOTBOX!

In keeping with this new tradition, we\’ll be filling the SAW Courtyard with the city’s best VJs, DJs, restaurants and bands, to highlight SAW Video’s award-winning programs and raise a glass to the thriving artistic community we call home.

This year, we\’ll be featuring food stands from: Zen Kitchen, TacoLot, Jak\’s Kitchen, Suzy Q donuts and Kichesippi Beer.

Read more: SAW Video

The all new and improved Carivibe Festival

11:56 am in Festival News, News Release

[source: press release]

Ottawa residents can now celebrate Caribbean culture at the beginning and end of the summer. Orleans is bringing the Caribbean to you, not once – but twice! On Saturday June 16th, kick off your summer at the Carivibe Beach Festival and end your summer on Saturday August 18th at the Carivibe Street Parade & Block Party.

Thousands of Ottawa residents will be able to join their friends and families from all over the City, Province and Country at Petrie Island for the 3rd annual Carivibe Beach Festival on Saturday June 16th. This annual event is a celebration of Caribbean culture in the Nation’s Capital, as well as the official launch of Canada’s carnival season.

The Carivibe Beach Festival has become a staple in Ottawa allowing residents to bask in the Caribbean experience. On the beach, patrons will enjoy non-stop entertainment such as Calypso, Soca, Steelband Rhythms, Reggae and Latin vibes from the world’s best entertainers. There will be an array of classic Caribbean cuisine and beverages available for patrons to satisfy their appetite as well as a showcase of what’s to come at the Carivibe Street Parade in August. Arts, crafts, cultural clothing and accessories from different islands will also be on display from members of Canada’s artistic community.

Featured, will be two sound stages, a licensed tent for adults, an all-ages section for teens and a kiddies carnival area for children filled with bouncy rides, games and inflatables brought to you by “Circus Delights”.

The Carivibe Beach Festival has also become a meeting place for the organizers of Canada’s major Caribbean festivals. “It’s a chance for us to network, cross promote and share ideas, while enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Petrie Island,” said Trevor Mason, Carivibe Director.

To end the summer festivals, the Carivibe Street Parade & Block Party will now take place on the 3rd Saturday in August. “Moving the parade to August will now give masqueraders from all over the country an opportunity to participate in the final carnival on Canada’s Caribbean calendar.” explained David Mason, Carivibe Street Parade Organizer.

On Saturday August 18th, join colorful Carivibe Masqueraders, thousands of Orleans residents and visitors as they “Jump, Wine and Chip” down St. Joseph Blvd. to sweet tropical rhythms. After the Carivibe Street Parade join in the fun on Centrum Blvd. and Shenkman Arts Centre for Ottawa’s BIGGEST indoor-outdoor Caribbean Block Party with entertainment for the whole family.

City Councillor Bob Monette is proud that Orléans will be hosting Carivibe for a third year. “This is a great opportunity for residents to discover the Caribbean culture while enjoying the various stores and restaurants along St-Joseph Boulevard. I invite all of you to come discover the beauty of our island: Petrie Island” he stated.

Save the dates, invite your friends and experience the vibe of Ottawa’s largest Caribbean Celebration!

Carivibe 2012 is now accepting sponsors, volunteers, vendors, bands and entertainers.

For more information:

Council approves action plan for arts, heritage and culture

1:32 pm in Community News, Festival and Event Industry, Industry News

Today City Council approved a six-year action plan for arts, heritage and culture. The renewed plan builds on Ottawa’s strengths, reflects its unique and authentic identity, aims to build pride in Ottawa as a vibrant, cultural city, and sets out a path aimed at leveraging opportunity.

“Arts, culture and heritage are about remembering where we come from, celebrating who we are today and dreaming about what we can be tomorrow,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “These will continue to be the keys to our success, especially as we prepare to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.”

“The renewal process brought together the strongest diversity of representation and participation ever for municipal cultural planning purposes in Ottawa,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee. “The plan will close cultural gaps, meet emerging needs and continue to improve cultural investment in the City of Ottawa.”

The plan includes four strategies:

  • Celebrate Ottawa’s unique cultural identity and provide access to culture for all
  • Preserve and develop cultural and creative places and spaces
  • Get the word out about Ottawa’s vibrant local culture and unique identity
  • Invest in local culture and build cultural leadership

The process brought together First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and communities, representatives of the Anglophone and Francophone cultural mosaic, diverse citizenry from rural, suburban and urban neighbourhoods, new Canadians and arts, heritage, festival and fair representatives.

A recent economic study reported that Ottawa-Gatineau’s cultural industry (non-profit and for-profit) represented approximately 4.1 per cent of GDP, totalling $1.98 billion. In 2010, attendance and participation in local cultural activity totalled 4.1 million, and 21,861 volunteers provided 519,755 volunteer hours (valued at $9.1 million) to the local cultural sector.

Finding their voice – through poetry

10:00 am in Community News, Industry News

Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen

For Liam and teens like him all across Ottawa, spoken word poetry is helping them find their voice and express how they feel about difficult things they face in their lives or the world around them. Depression, suicide, addiction, bullies, broken hearts and stereotypes are all fodder for poems, but so, too, are death, dictators and dearly beloved family members, in this art form that bursts with creativity, energy and emotion.

The budding poets meet over the lunch hour in Phelan\’s second-floor classroom, where they fine-tune and perform pieces for each other. They also drop rhymes at school assemblies and many attend monthly poetry slams held at the central branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

Spoken word poetry has flourished in the city since the first national festival was held here in 2004. Ottawa teams have twice won the Canadian slam poetry title and the brand new youth team, which Liam is on, won the top prize at this year\’s festival in Toronto.

Full story: Finding their voice – through poetry

The good news and the bad about the arts in Canada

2:18 pm in Community News, Festival and Event Industry, Industry News

Charles Gordon,

Summer is the right time for a look at the good, the bad and, yes, the ugly in the Canadian arts.

First the good: Last week, during the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, a band of young musicians rehearsed in the theatre of Library and Archives Canada, as part of the TD Jazz Youth Summit. The 17 players, high school, university and college students, were brought together from across the country. Later, they would present two concerts on the festival’s main stage.

Three seasoned pros, all Canadians, worked with them as they struggled to learn a difficult composition, Transit, by Darcy James Argue. The band’s musical director, Jim Lewis, a Toronto trumpeter, composer and teacher, welcomed Argue, who is originally from Vancouver but now leads a New York-based band. One of his trumpet players, Ingrid Jensen, who is also originally from British Columbia, also pitched in, as well as playing fiery trumpet solos.

The guidance was in part technical but also general – it was about breathing, it was about not playing timidly, it was about projecting authority and it was enjoyed by both sides. “I’m very appreciative of you guys playing my music,” Argue told them.

By the end of the 90-minute rehearsal, the piece was sounding almost as professional as it would sound later that night, when Argue’s own band, the Secret Society, played it in Confederation Park.

Read more on the Your Ottawa Region website: The good news and the bad about the arts in Canada

NAC creates fund to aid arts nationally

3:31 pm in Festival and Event Industry, Industry News, Ottawa News

The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The National Arts Centre is once again showing its love for Peter Herrndorf. The NAC Foundation — the fundraising arm of the federal institution — has created a $1.2 million “CEO’s National Fund” to support the centre’s performing arts programs across Canada.

The fund will support tours of the NAC Orchestra across Canada, and support artists from across the country through events such as the regional “Scene” series launched by Herrndorf eight years ago.

“Spearheaded by the generous contributions of lead donors Grant Burton, Kiki Delaney, Julia E. Foster and Gail O’Brien and thanks to the major contributions of more than 85 others across Canada, the CEO’s National Fund currently stands at $1.2 million to support performing arts and education initiatives from coast to coast,” says a statement says from the NAC.

Herrndorf has been CEO and president of the NAC for more than a decade, and recently had his position extended to 2013.

The struggle to get arts ‘on the radar’

1:24 pm in Community News, Festival and Event Industry, Industry News

Chris Cobb, The Ottawa Citizen

Doucet concedes that “arts haven’t been on the radar” during this campaign but promises to do his best to elevate the issue into something more than the traditional election afterthought.

He will be announcing his specific cultural platform later in the campaign — leaving the best till last “because it’s the closest to my heart” — but hints that one plank will be a “Spaces and Places” policy that addresses the lack of rehearsal and development space for all arts groups.

A Jim Watson campaign spokesman said the candidate had no arts policies to announce just yet and the Larry O’Brien campaign didn’t respond at all.

What the arts community dreads is a slate of new councillors who see the arts as a frivolous activity pursued by elites who should fund their own theatrical, artistic and musical pleasures.

Full Article: The struggle to get arts ‘on the radar’

How Ottawa Is Losing In The Arts-Funding Game

8:59 am in Community News, Festival and Event Industry, Industry News


Mike Levin who writes the UnFolding Magazine blog takes a look at the \’Arts and the Capital City\’ summary report released by the Council for the Arts in Ottawa:

The news isn’t unique: local arts institutions and festivals are barely hanging on because they don’t have political champions, like in other capital cities in the Western world, who are willing to fight for arts’ larger role in society. But there’s a fascinating backstory in the report, one that identifies specific weaknesses in the local sector, and it adds context to this tale of woe.

Of the $118.8 million doled out between 2001 and 2008 by the Canadian Arts and Heritage Sustainability Program for stabilization (to establish non-profits), capacity building (to strengthen finances) and endowment (to attract private money), local Ottawa groups got $795,115.

That’s 0.65 percent….for Canada’s fourth largest city. Winnipeg received 12 times as much. What in Heaven’s name is that about?

It’s about a lot of things, obviously, but mostly about Ottawa’s arts sector not having anyone who knows how this game is played, or perhaps not having the resources to play it. The irony is that arts people seem caught in the same Catch 22 as those in economics, education and community (to just start a very long list): things can’t be fixed without the right resources and we can’t get the resources until things are fixed.

Read Mike\’s full post: How Ottawa Is Losing In The Arts-Funding Game